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What factors predict who will have a strong social network following a stroke?

Northcott, S., Marshall, J. & Hilari, K. (2016). What factors predict who will have a strong social network following a stroke?. Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research, 59(4), pp. 772-783. doi: 10.1044/2016_jslhr-l-15-0201


Purpose: Measures of social networks assess the number and nature of a person's social contacts, and strongly predict health outcomes. We explored how social networks change following a stroke and analysed concurrent and baseline predictors of social networks six months post stroke.

Method: Prospective longitudinal observational study. Participants were assessed two weeks (baseline), three months and six months post stroke. Measures included: Stroke Social Network Scale; MOS Social Support Survey; NIH Stroke Scale; Frenchay Aphasia Screening Test; Frenchay Activities Index; and the Barthel Index. ANOVA and standard multiple regression were used to analyse change and identify predictors.

Results: 87 participants (37% with aphasia) were recruited; 71 (16% with aphasia) were followed up at six months. Social network scores declined post stroke (p = .001). While the Children and Relatives factors remained stable, the Friends factor significantly weakened (p <.001). Concurrent predictors of social network at six months were: perceived social support, ethnicity, aphasia and extended ADL (adjusted R 2 = .42). There were two baseline predictors: pre-morbid social network and aphasia (adjusted R 2 = .60).

Conclusions: Social networks declined post stroke. Aphasia was the only stroke-related factor measured at the time of the stroke that predicted social network six months later.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright American Speech-Language-Hearing Association 2016. Published here
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Language & Communication Science
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of Post-stroke social networks AS SUBMITTED DEC 2015.pdf]
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